Mitsubishi Canter/FG 140 4x4 buildup
We are building a Mitsubishi Canter/FG 140 4x4 for overland travel.
Main project site:
Comments and feedback are welcome.
An Interesting well thought out conversion with a very good use of space - with a GM/Ford/Dodge dually you would have no room for the bikes and as you know a trailer on a long trip is a real liability with a long wheelbase.
Im sure you are aware of the ramp angle you have - the side lockers look quite low slung - are the fuel tanks recessed up a little so they are not the first thing to touch down ?
Also over Bad washboard/corrogations is there/will there be any contact between the bigfoot and the bike garage area - is there much movement ?
I couldnt tell from the photos - but is the chassis area around the fuel tanks reinforced at all - there will be a lot of loading on this area - or is it pretty beefy ?
Other than that - the Winch Cables- with a fairly heavy vehicle (any vehicle for that matter - but heavier vehicles load the cables up if badly bogged) I hate to see wire rope used these days - Cables IMO are bloody dangerous - having seen quite a few part and cause a lot of damage (fortunately only to vehicles)- they also splinter,kink,freeze up (and your hands), are heavy and you need heavy roller fairleads which dont do anything for approach/departure angles.
I would consider swopping them for some Synthetic Rope - stronger, easy to handle and spool in, wont freeze, doesnt kink, is much lighter and if it does break it will go dead and wont whip like wire rope - much much safer.
use it with alloy fairleads - probably save you 100 lbs ish in weight between the cables and fairleads.
Try these guys:
Keep us posted with any updates/testing - great website !!!
The small tyres and modest angles/ground clearance will restrict your options for exploring off the beaten track. Can you fit larger diameter tyres ? Also, do you really need two bikes ? You could save a lot of weight by taking only one. As for tyres I would choose Michelin XZY over any other type for this type of journey - they are pretty well bombproof. The cab access step looks a bit vulnerable, maybe consider a folding (Land Rover) type ?
Good luck with the trip.
Why not take one motor bike and one push bike ?
We plan to put motorcycle shocks on the rear of the pivot frame to dampen some of the lateral motion by the camper & upper boxes (which are also mounted to the pivot frame.)
At the last possible moment I had our fabricator modify our spare tire storage compartments to fit the XZYs, but we haven't tested them. I have my doubts they will fit laterally in the compartments.
The XZYs are 3" taller and would give us 300 lbs. more axle capacity on the front. They are not readily available in the US, so we would need to source them out of Canada, most likely as take-offs of their Army's G-Wagons, or from NZ/OZ or Europe.
XZY's are available in the UK new (ex military, but brand new) from VASS. About £50 apiece. They are also available in 17.5 and 20 inch sizes (but not from VASS).
Project complete Sunday 3 June, 2007 ~8PM PDT / 0300 GMT / Zulu
Project: Hackney Expedition Vehicle
Goal: Self-sufficient, Self-Extracting Global Expedition Vehicle
Mission: 2 - 3 years of unsupported exploration primarily in developing countries
Project time: One year
Build time: Nine months
Project type: Private
Funding: Privately funded, no commercial sponsorships, endorsements, financial or product support
Concept design: Douglas Hackney - inspired by an FG/Bigfoot design of Carl Hunter
Bumpers, frame extension, pivot frame, storage box, etc. design and implementation: Mark Johnson
Electrical, plumbing, electronics, etc. systems design and implementation: Douglas Hackney
Custom storage boxes: Fleet Metal Box
Powder Coating: Jerico Metal Fabrication and Powdercoat
Chassis: 2007 Mitsubishi Fuso FG 140 4x4
Camper: 2006 Bigfoot 20C10.11FR
Engine type: DOHC 4-stroke cycle, water-cooled, turbocharged, intercooled diesel
Power: 147 HP @2700 RPM / 108.12 KW
Torque: 347 ft/lb (lbf/ft) @1600 RPM / 47.97 kgf/m
Displacement: 299 c.i. / 4.899 liters
Bore/Stroke: 4.49x4.72" / 114x120mm
Drivetrain: four wheel drive, manually selected, dual range
Front axle: open
Rear axle: limited slip
Transmission: 5 speed manual
Overall gear ratio (1st Gear - Low 4 Wheel Drive): 64.2:1
Top speed: ~75 m.p.h. / 120.70 k.p.h.
Cruising speed: 60 m.p.h. / 96.56 k.p.h.
Tires: Mud & Snow Yokohama Y-7428 LT742 235/85R16; 3 polyester plies sidewall, 2 steel plies tread
Spare tires & wheels: two
Overall length: 27.17' / 7.98 meters (tip of front bumper to rear bumper)
Overall height: 12.04' / 3.67 meters
Overall width: 8.58' / 2.62 meters (rub rail to rub rail)
Front axle track: 65.6" / 166.62cm
Centerline to centerline rear duals: 10.75" / 273.05mm
Outer edge of tire tread to outer edge of tire tread - front: 71.75" / 1822.45 mm (stock tires)
Outer edge of tire tread to outer edge of tire tread - rear: 79.00" / 2006.60mm (stock tires)
Wheelbase: 154" 12' 10" / 3.91 meters
Turning radius: 28.2' / 8.56 meters (outer tread edge of outer front tire)
Mid Wheelbase ground clearance: 15" / .381 meters (stock tires)
Minimum ground clearance: 12.5" (xfer case skid plate) / .318 meters (stock tires)
Front differential ground clearance - max load: 8.5" / 215.9mm (stock tires)
Rear differential ground clearance - max load: 7.625" / 193.68mm (stock tires)
Horizontal centerline front differential, max load: 14.375" / 365.13mm (stock tires)
Horizontal centerline rear differential, max load: 14.125" / 358.78mm (stock tires)
Breakover: 79 degrees (from vertical at mid wheelbase), 11 degrees from wheels (stock tires)
Approach angle: 29.4 degrees (to front cab step) (stock tires)
Departure angle: 17.1 degrees (to departure caster wheels) (stock tires)
Top of rear wheel to box: 7.25" / .184 meters (stock tires)
Bottom of frame rail to ground @ rear axle: 26.5" / .673 meters (stock tires)
Bottom of frame rail to ground @ front axle: 29.5" / .749 meters (stock tires)
Chassis (everything except the camper) % of total weight: 63%
Camper % of total weight: 37%
Front axle % of total: 36%
Rear axle % of total: 64%
Left side % of total: 51%
Right side % of total: 49%
Left front % of total: 19%
Right front % of total: 17%
Left rear % of total: 33%
Right rear % of total: 30%
Center of gravity behind front axle: 98.14" / 249.28cm
Center of gravity from passenger outer tread: 36.19" / 91.92cm
Center of gravity height: 58.92" / 149.657cm (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum left roll angle: 31.12 (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum right roll angle: 31.56 (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum back roll angle: 43.48 (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum front roll angle: 59.02 (estimated based on tilt test)
Rear sway bar: 1.25" / 31.75mm x 36" / 91.44cm
Camper & storage box frame: three point pivot
Pivot frame suspension: 50/50 Fox shocks
Fuel capacity: ~100 gallons / 378.54 liters
Range: >1,000 miles / 1,609 kilometers
Fuel tanks: dual saddle
Fuel filters: dual one micron with online hot swap backup
Genset fuel rate: ~.2 gallons / .76 liters per hour
Air compressor: 4 cfm / 113.27 liters per minute
Air tank: 4 gallon / 15.14 liters
Maximum system working pressure: 150 psi / 1034 kpa / 10.34 bar
Air seats: dual, 3" stroke, 5 air bladders, heated
Air horns: triple, 152 decibels
Drinking water capacity:
Raw, filtered & unsterilized: ~45 gallons / ~170 liters
Fresh, filtered & sterilized: 33 gallons / 125 liters
Total: ~78 gallons / ~284 liters
Gray water: 32 gallons / 122 liters
Black water: 32 gallons / 122 liters
Macerator pump output hose: 75 feet / 22.86 meters
LP capacity: ~20 gallons / 75.7 liters
House bank batteries: 840 amp hours
House bank dedicated alternator: 135 amps
Solar panel output: 19 amps
External AC input: 120/220 VAC / 60HZ, 30 amps single phase
Guest power output: 120/220 VAC / 60 HZ, 20 amps single phase
Diesel genset: 30 amps 120V single phase
Inverter: 3000 watts, 120V single phase
Raw water input: any fresh water source
Drinking water filtration: <1 micron
Drinking water purification: activated charcoal, Ultraviolet light sterilization
Input pump rate: 7 gallons per minute / 26.5 liters per minute
Internet access: global
Voice communications access: dual global, cab and camper external antennas for primary, camper external antenna for backup
Local voice communications: GSM 3G
Low data rate access: global
Emergency Beacons: EPIRB 406 MHZ global
Radios: VHF (bike to bike, bike to truck), CB (US band)
GPS: one fixed, three portable, cab and camper external antennas
Front winch: 16,500 lbs. / 7,484 kilos
Rear winch: 16,500 lbs. / 7,484 kilos
LAN: Gigabit Ethernet
Data storage: 2TB configured as 1.5TB RAID5
Document handling: color scanner/copier/ink jet printer 8.5x11" / 21.59x27.94cm
Photo printing: 4x6" / 10.16x15.24cm dye sublimation
Cab video: DVD playback, rear color camera w/microphone
Cab stereo: 300 watts, four 4.5" / 114.3mm drivers, one 10" / 254mm subwoofer
Camper stereo: 70 watts, four 5.25" / 133.35mm drivers
Camper TV: 25" / 63.5cm LCD HD (US standard ATSC)
Camper TV sound: 5 channel Dolby/DTS wireless headphones
Camper TV playback: upconverting DVD
iPod integration: cab and camper
Berth: fixed ~60x80" / 152.4cm/203.2cm
Head: dry, fixed shower
Range/cooktop: three burner
Oven: convection microwave
Furnace/heater: 30,000 BTU
Water heater: 6 gallons / 23 liters
Refrigerator (3 way: LP, 12VDC, 120VAC): 6 cf / 169 liters
Air conditioner: 11,000 BTU
Galley sink: dual
Integrated exterior LP Grill: 12,000 BTU stainless steel
Primary chassis materials: steel, stainless steel, aluminum
Primary camper materials: chopped mat fiberglass & wood ply sandwich cored with injected foam, wood, single layer fiberglass
Camper glass: dual pane
Camper leveling jacks: electric / manual
Fire extinguishers: Four ABC type (cab - 1; storage boxes - 1, camper - 2)
Ditch bags: two
Vehicle recovery kits: one
Winch line extensions: two
Winch anchor: 14,000 lbs / 6,350 kg capacity
Hand tools: ax, cross bow saw, pick, short and long shovel, pry bar
Pneumatic impact wrench: 1/2" / 12.7mm 500 ft/lb / 69.13 kgf/m
Locking external storage capacity: 268.01cubic feet / 7.59 cubic meters / 7,589 liters
Camper internal storage: 92.98 cubic feet / 2.63 cubic meters / 2,633 liters
Total storage: 360.99 cubic feet / 10.22 cubic meters / 10,222 liters
Auxiliary vehicle storage capacity: two motorcycles up to 94" / 238.76 cm long and 48" / 121.92cm high (taller bikes can be accommodated if you compress the forks)
Other views just prior to completion (missing some box corner / stone guards):
Project buildup photos are at:
BEV Buildup Photos
Wow! Impressive built and great engineering concept. And an internet cafe on wheels to boot! Pity it's bound only for tarmac roads...
The FG is basically a delivery truck capable of use in unpaved areas. We see it as a two-track type of vehicle. Roads of a type that in the US would be ungraded fire roads in the Western mountains. The small wheel size, dual rear wheels and limited ground clearance inherently limit the chassis. Our weight and ~59"/ ~150cm CG location also limit us in terms of roll angle.
Having said that, we know of very experienced 4x4 people who are out in this chassis who go to some amazingly rugged places with their FG. We are not experiened 4x4 people, so we'll take it as far as we are comfortable and then get on the two dirt bikes we carry inside.
So, not limited to tarmac, but certainly limited, at least for us, to reasonable two-tracks. That was our design brief for this project, so we are happy with those results.
We've spent a lot of time motorcycling in developing economies, so we knew the type of roads we were building the truck for. We're not looking to go where no vehicle has gone before with the truck. We'll get on the dirt bikes for that type of work.
And stepping back a couple of levels of abstraction, the FG is not a poor man's MOG or even a Defender on steroids, and I think that people can set themselves up for disappointment if they mentally develop that implementation model for this chassis. For what it is, it is a fantastically capable platform, but I think it is important to work within its capabilities and potential.
I think I am going to like the idea of a comfortable, versatile mobile base from which to continue exploration on two wheels.
You've certainly done a great job and it shows in the pictures and descriptions.
As far as I am concerned, having grown used to carrying only the essentails, I can't even imagine how great it would be to achieve such a high level of autonomy.
Doug, that vehicle looks quite amazing - hell off a job building it. Is that a "S Class type" infra-red camera arrangement in the cab in the picture?
And the specifications of the data storage and sound system (alongwith everything else) - wow! Your project is bigger in many ways than most peoples houses :-)
Can I ask with such an obviously valuable vehicle and kit how do you approach the issue of vehicle security and not having someone drive away with it...
Best of luck,
Actually, we've found the world outside the US to be a very welcoming and generally safe place. We rely on using our common sense, listening to our gut and taking some reasonable precautions.
My more detailed thoughts on security and danger are here: Hackney Travel Danger
Far too much info for me to read through, so you may have sorted out a good solution, but my thought was how easy it would be to smash in one of your windows and climb into the back.
Grills or reinforced windows might be a good idea for when your out on the bikes. Also your front spot lights might not last long in places I have been (though again I don't know where your plnning to use this).
Just a thought...
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